How to Streamline Your Payment System and Onboarding Process for your Coaching Business
Streamlining how clients pay you should be a top priority in your business. You want it to be easy and uncomplicated for potential clients to do business with you.
A simple and streamlined payment and onboarding process not only simplifies things on your end but creates an extremely professional (and enjoyable) experience for your clients.
Before deciding on the technology to use to create these payment systems, you’ll first need to get clear on what you’re selling.
After working closely with dozens of coaches and consultants, I’ve narrowed it down four likely scenarios. Read through to identify which you most closely relate to:
1) You’re a coach selling coaching packages and/or bundles.
For instance a 3-month and 6-month package for a fixed rate. This could scenario could also be used for coaches with a signature system you walk your clients through. Maybe you even have some add-on services, assessment options or bonuses of some sort they can purchase.
2) You want to sell products, either digital or physical.
Here you could likely be selling a how-to guide, a manifesto poster or a workbook. Whether digital or physical, you’re focused on products.
3) You want to sell online courses.
If you’re looking to sell online courses, you’ll likely be offering a one-time purchase for a single course OR offering a membership course. These could be hosted on your own website or hosted on a third-party software, like Kajabi, Simplero or Thinkific.
4) You create a custom experience (and package) for each client.
Perhaps you want to chat with each new prospective client and then follow up with a personalized proposal, contract and invoice just for their needs. This is typical for those in the service industry and working closely with their clients. This is how I typically work with my clients.
After getting clear on exactly what you’re selling, let’s talk about how to simplify the payment process and client experience.
1) For coaching packages, a simple way to accept payments from website visitors is to add a Buy Now button on your site.
Paypal is a great choice, they’re user-friendly and widely known.
Here you’d set your price then add a Buy Now button with them HTML code provided my PayPal. You can also set a custom Thank You page after they checkout, too.
Don’t forget if you go with a simple PayPal button, you’ll need still need to find a means to sending, delivering and signing contracts and agreements with new clients.
Dubsado now offers their own version of a Buy Now button with public proposals. If you go this route, you can provide more options and upsells on the proposal and connect a contract + invoice all in the same place.
2) For digital or physical products, WooCommerce is a great option.
By adding an eCommerce plugin, like Woo Commerce, you can build a nice little e-commerce store within your website.
This plugin enables you to sell downloadable products directly from your WordPress website. Or if you’re selling physical products, they’ll handle all the shipping details, inventory, taxes, etc.
WooCommerce has been around for quite a while and will grant you the ability to create an online storefront that’s as simple (or robust) as you need it to be.
3) If you’re selling online courses, you might consider using a third-party option like Kajabi or Thinkific.
These user-friendly platforms are designed specifically to host online courses. You create the content, upload everything to those sites, and sit back while they handle the payment.
However, if you’re looking for a fully custom solution hosted on your website, MemberPress is a great plugin to explore.
There really is no better option if you’re trying to choose between listing it on your own site or hosting it on a third party, it really just depends on your needs and what you’re looking for.
If you are hosting it on your own site, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re hooked up with a reliable website host.
4) Lastly, you could tailor the payment method to each individual package.
Choosing this option really helps personalize the experience for your client, and thus make them feel you really are making that extra effort for them.
This is exactly what I do for my clients and it’s always so well received. They love the simplicity of my systems and often replicate something similar for their onboarding process.
I use Dubsado, a Client Relationship Management (CRM) software, to simplify this process. It literally handles everything after I chat with a new potential client.
Potential clients first fill out my contact form and then after we chat to ensure we’d be a good fit, I send over a custom proposal, contract, and invoice. It’s all bundled up together and accessible in a single link.
So to recap, before jumping into all the logistics of setting up your payment systems, you’ll want to first:
- Get clear on what exactly it is that you’re selling.
- Take a minute to brainstorm your client experience. What is the experience you want for your client?
- Figure out what your ideal workflow looks like. From lead capture, all the way to them becoming a client, map that process out before taking any action.
Then, you’ll have the clarity you need to find a really easy solution to setting up an ideal payment option on your website.
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Hi! I'm Katie. I'm a web designer + digital strategist for industry-leading service providers. Using a strategy-first approach, my passion is helping service-based businesses get an online home they’re proud to show off while strategically supporting their business goals.